INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Gov. Mike Pence told about 500 people
attending Indiana's first statewide summit on its high infant mortality
rate that the state's death rate among its youngest citizens is
Indiana's infant mortality rate was 7.7 deaths per 1,000 live births in
2011, giving it the nation's 6th-highest such rate. The national rate that
year was 6.05 deaths per 1,000 births.
Pence challenged health care experts, community leaders and others
attending the summit to "think fresh" about how Indiana can reduce deaths
in children's first year of life.
State health commissioner Dr. William VanNess says Indiana's infant
mortality rate has fallen below seven deaths per 1,000 births only once
during the 113 years such records have been kept. He says Indiana's high
obesity and smoking rates contribute to infant deaths.